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A bit of a thin week, but nonetheless, there are always gems to be found. Support your local independent record stores or they will close and your city will be more boring for it.

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Here are the new metal releases for the week of March 16, 2015 – March 21, 2015. Release dates are formatted according to proposed North American scheduling, if available. Expect to see the bulk of these records on shelves or distros on Tuesday unless otherwise noted. Blurbs and designations are based on available promotional material and perceived buzz.

See something we missed? Goofs? Let us know in the comments. Plus, as always, feel free to post your own shopping lists. Happy digging.

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Anticipated Releases:

Dødheimsgard - A Umbra Omega | Peaceville | Norway | Avant Garde Black Metal
DHG took black metal and fearlessly threw electronics into the pot with it with some pretty divisive results. Some really love them, some hate them. This is their first album in 8 years, so let the fur fly one more time.

Ghost Bath - Moonlover | Northern Silence | USA | Atmospheric Black Metal | Shoegaze | Post Metal
Another one that is going to start internet fights. Ghost Bath are being compared to the “Chinese Deafheaven,” even though we know they are American now. It’s pretty dreamy stuff, but still aggressive and very melodic.

Moonspell - Extinct | Napalm | Portugal | Gothic Metal
I used to play Sin/Pecado back in the day to try and get goth chicks to do me. I just assumed that Fernando Ribiero was like a goth metal Luther Vandross. They haven’t lost an ounce of what makes them great in that regard.

Norse - Pest | Transcending Obscurity| Australia | Black Metal | Avant Garde
Skronky masterpiece that has just as much in common with '90s Gravity Records as it does with Deathspell Omega. These guys have built up a really devoted following pretty much on their own.

The Order of Apollyon - The Sword and the Dagger | Listenable | France | Black Metal
Strong return after a 5 year absence from one of the main Aosoth dudes. If you are a fan of Aosoth (and you should be) this should be yours.

Pyramids - A Northern Meadow | Profound Lore | Experimental | Post-Metal
Pyramids are adventurous to say the least. They haven’t put out a proper album since 2008. Since then they have recorded a slew of splits and collaborations with other experimental artists like Horseback and Mammifer

Ranger - Where Evil Dwells | Spinefarm | Finland | Speed Thrash Metal
Traditional heavy speed metal done with a ton of energy that never seems to let up. Ranger keep it raw, which helps to make them one of the best in this style.

Of Note:

Ashes Of Moon - The Darkness Where The Past Lay Sleeping | Aural | Austria | Melodic Death Metal
Mid paced, to slower melodic death metal. VERY melodic.

Bad Guys - Bad Guynaecology | Riot Season | UK | Stoner | Motorpunk
Rude and riffy downtuned hard rock with gruff vocals. These songs should all be odes to screwing or odes to aging pro-wrestlers.

Beautality - Einfalen: A Tale Ov Torment & Triumph | Nordavind | UK | Epic Gothic Metal
Pinning this band to one style of gloomy metal is a little unfair, but it does apply pretty liberally. Beautality draw from many deep wells of inspiration, none of it being flowery harpsichord bullshit, as pointed out by Scab Casserole in our track debut last month here.

Bulldozing Bastard - Under The Ram | High Roller Germany | Speed Metal
Totäl motörspeed ümlaut metäl ättäck. High Roller records pedals a lot of this stuff and many quality reissues as well.

Crimson Swan - Unlit | Quality Steel | Germany | Funeral Doom
Intense and moody 2nd album from these new melancholic wunderkinder.

Crom Dubh - Heimweh | Ván | UK | Depressive Black Metal
British black metal isn’t ALL Cradle Of Filth. Sometimes there is Winterfylleth (who are brilliant) and now these guys who are showing promise. Ván doesn’t release things that aren’t worth discussion.

Drakkar - Run With The Wolf | My Kingdom | Italy | Epic Power Metal
Power metal with lots of '70s Rainbow/Deep Purple thrown in for good measure.

Dynfari - Vegfero Timans | Code 666 | Iceland | Atmospheric Black Metal
Iceland again with more quality black metal. Seriously, the rest of the world didn’t even know Iceland had bands 20 years ago aside from Bjork, come to find out they are all black metal bands.

Flummox - Phlummoxygen | Tridroid | USA | Weird Prog Metal
This one is for fans of early Mr. Bungle and other goofball progressive metal silliness.

Ideogram - Life Mimics Theatre | Aural | Italy | Avant Garde Death Metal
Multi vocalist approach to death metal with progressive elements.

Katavasia - Sacrilegious Testament | Floga | Greece | Greek Black Metal
Sharing members with Varathron, it only makes sense that Katavasia honors the massive and sweeping 90’s Greek BM traditions of Rotting Christ, Thou Art Lord and Varathron.

Macabre Omen - Gods Of War: At War | Van | Greece | Black Metal
I am one Greek black metal loving motherfucker, so lay it on me. Bombast is never in short order in Greece.

Mors Subita - Degeneration | Self released | Finland | Modern Thrash Metal
These DIY Finns are slick, melodic, catchy and thrashy.

Negative Self - Negative Self | High Roller | Sweden | Hard Rock
Great solos and decent songwriting from this new jack Swedish hard rock act. Fans of High Spirits could probably get into this.

Reign Of Fury - Death Be Thy Shepherd | Static Tension | UK | Thrash Metal | Heavy Metal
Fast thrash attack with huge “Armored Saint” mid-range vocals and choruses.

Rellik - Spiraling Infinite Chaos | Horror Pain Gore Death Productions | Classic Death Metal
Formed in 1987 and featuring Craig Smilowski who played on the first two Immolation records.

Simbiose - Trapped | Anticorpos | Portugal | Crust | Hardcore | Thrash
Crossover hardcore veterans put the hurt on the man with their new album. In case you missed it, we’ve got the hookup on the exclusive stream here which ought to help you make up your mind.

The Slow Death - Ark | Chaos | Australia | Funeral Doom
Soaring vocals and melodies. Layered and not too unlike Pallbearer, only much slower. They ain't called The Slow Death for nothing.

Things We Missed:

Kurhan - Glod | Arachnophobia | Poland | Death |Thrash
Mysterious Polish black metal clan reveal little but their music.

Desert Near The End - Hunt For The Sun | Metal Scrap | Greece | Epic Thrash | Power Metal
Greek black metal seems to get all the attention and no one talks about the thrash scene. Desert At The End is doing their part to change all that with their Iced Earth approach.

>>>BOSS REISSUES<<<

High Power - High Power | Shadow Kingdom | France | 80's Metal | 1983

Since there really aren't any big reissues coming out this week, I decided to bring a little attention to a few that came out before I landed this gig, so I guess these can be considered "things we missed" as well. High Power's s/t album was reissued at the end of February, I flat out love this album all the way down to the utterly daft cover artwork. There were three successful 'big" metal bands that came out of France in the '80s and none of them made it very far past the French border. Sortilege was the one that English speakers were most likely to have heard of because they released their full length album, "Metamorphosis" in both French and English. High Power and Blaspheme were the other two and neither had much of a shot in English markets without an English-language record. All three had a strong NWOBHM influence, which is really no surprise in 1983 as everybody did. High Power was the first out of the gate and also the one that came out swinging the hardest and fastest. The s/t album was their debut and it was just itchier than anything by anyone else in France at that time. They could have recorded this album in Tagalog and it could have held up against anything else released in 1983 (Number Of The Beast? Iron Fist?) Sortilege and Blaspheme wouldn't release anything until the next year and they just had more AOR/Def Leppard aspirations it seemed. Shadow Kingdom never messes around when it comes to unearthing classics and this was one I have been into for awhile, so it really made me happy to see that this was made available again. That cover art though.

Terrorizer - Before The Downfall 1987/1989 | FOAD Records | LA, USA | Grindcore forefathers
Shit, this one has been out for like 6 months and I am just now catching on to it. If you were around when "World Downfall" dropped, then you remember that it was as much of a revelation as "Altars Of Madness" or anything else that was released on Earache at that time. To me, it was a bit of a curiosity. I was keen on death metal and Earache records at the time, so being that it was members of Morbid Angel and Napalm Death and on Earache, I knew it was in my wheelhouse. When I heard a track on the college radio metal show, it's raw-like-sushi production immediately jumped out from between all the slick post-"And Justice For All" thrash production and typical Morrisound mud-tones of the day. "World Downfall" connected dots between Minor Threat and Napalm Death. It's rushed nature and dry simplicity was what brought it down to a human level where blast beats and grindcore was something I could suddenly process. The drums and guitars sounded like they were being played in a room like every show I had snuck into, or band practice I had attended, rather than polished and produced through thousand dollar outboard doo-dads and Eventide processors. Terrorizer probably primed me more for getting into hardcore than hearing the Misfits. The Terrorizer demos are some of the most legendary demos of the 80's, emphatically promoted worldwide by prolific tape-traders like Shane Embury and others in the early grind scenes, building up a huge groundswell of international interest. Meanwhile, Terrorizer had trouble just getting their band gigs outside of the neighborhood though and disbanded BEFORE the album was recorded or even conceived of. Supposedly, the album recording was facilitated by the bands on Earache lobbying Dig to cough up the money to get the tracks officially recorded based on how important the demos were to them. Heavily bootlegged over the years, with varying levels of listenability, Italy's F.O.A.D. Records (another label that does not fuck around with their reissues... check out their Wehrmacht, Schizo and Bulldozer reissues for proof) has finally been given the go-ahead to bring the first ever complete package of all the demos and pre-World Downfall materials to light in a single 2CD/2LP set. These are cleaned up recordings from as close to the source material as they could get and sound far superior to any previous bootlegs or releases.